Everybody Gets One – Anime's Personal Rage Machines

If I was given the right, I would love nothing more than to burn studio Bee Train to the fucking ground. I would grab the CEO by the collar and punch him in the fucking face, I would bitchslap the animators, cockslap the directors, and cut the throats of the storyboarders. I would laugh with joy as the building crumbled to ash, and then I would piss on the ground where it stood. If given the right, of course.

Everyone has anime that they don’t like. Or perhaps elements of anime that they don’t like. Maybe you don’t like tsundere characters, or maybe you specifically don’t like the anime Escaflowne (I am, of course, making personal examples.) But over time, you may overcome this dislike. Maybe at first, you’ll say ‘man, I really hate tsundere characters’, but then, over time, you start to notice that you like a few of them. And then you start to notice that it’s less that you hate tsundere, and more that there are certain tsundere characters whom you dislike. And maybe even then, you’ll start to realize that you don’t hate them that much.

Or maybe when you first finish Escaflowne, you’ll be really pissed at the way it turned out, and hate it. However, as time passes, and you get over the initial rage of the ending, you start to endear it a little more, and don’t mind the ending so much, and maybe come to like it. I’ve seen this happen a lot with people, where they say they dislike something, which they’ve been saying they disliked for a long time, and then realize after a few quick examples that maybe they don’t hate it so much.

Over the years, a lot of things have pissed me off in anime, and a lot of it, I’ve come to forgive. I don’t really mind that Shana wasn’t great, I still like it. I don’t really mind as much that Strawberry Panic is a cheap knockoff of Marimite, that’s no reason to hate it. If I take something like Eden of the East, which bothered me with the hype it was getting, then I’m probably going to forgive and forget before too long and come to like the show.

Fuck this boring ass bullshit

Fuck this boring ass bullshit

And I think a lot of the really anal anime fans out there who seem to hate everything are just being stubborn. I’m sure that if they weren’t so stuck up with their heads in their asses about the things they dislike, they’d stop being so silly about them. Get over your knee jerk reaction to moe, or your pride against all things immature, and maybe you’ll find out that you can enjoy a lot more than you’ve been allowing yourself to. Contrary to popular belief, being able to like things that aren’t “great” doesn’t mean you have bad taste, it’s what you don’t like that truly governs that.

But even if we push past all of the stuck up pricks who won’t like anything, we are still going to find that everyone has some things that they simply cannot like. Yeah, there are obvious cases out there like Ninja Ressurection, Kai Doh Maru, or Dragonaut that no one likes for good reason, but there are also shows out there that you will find yourself completely unable to like in spite of the fact that there are good facets to the show. In a lot of cases, it may even be that it’s a show you really felt you should have enjoyed, but couldn’t bring yourself to no matter how hard you tried for various other reasons.

These shows are the bane of someone like me’s existence. I want to find something to like in everything. I want to believe that if you look at a show with an open mind, and really try, you can find a reason to enjoy it. And I’ll say now, there are such things as bad shows, like some I listed above, but I think that if enough people like a show, it’s not truly bad. It’s just not for you. As I said in my post on not watching shows that weren’t meant for you, I think that if a show has a following, then it has appeal, and therefor isn’t bad, it just isn’t meant for the people who don’t find those things appealing. And in such a case, I may admit, ‘this show is good, though I don’t like it’ and try to enjoy it for what it is.

A failed attempt at being awesomely bad

A failed attempt at being 'awesomely bad'

But sometimes, I can’t. I can’t accept it. I can’t believe that this show is good. I am filled with such rage on a personal level that I am physically incapable of appreciating a show. And I think we all have these shows that we hate, even if we aren’t open about it. Even if we just say ‘yeah, I didn’t like it’ and then don’t talk about it, it’s still there, and you still can’t like it. Like a terrible itch. I can’t remember which shows they were, but I’ve even seen Shiroth (dubbed ‘Mr. Sunshine’ for his inability to hate shows) hate a show that others like, and once or twice, I saw TheBigN do the same. In spite of both being Gainax Fanboys, Ghostlightning can’t like FLCL and Anime Kritik doesn’t like Gurren Lagann. Maybe these aren’t examples of pure, unbridled rage, but I know that in cases like GL, he’s tried to watch FLCL 4 times and could never find what to like about it.

Everyone has an anime ‘Personal Rage Machine’, be it a show, a company, a concept, or what have you. Something you just couldn’t bring yourself to like no matter how you tried. It’s not something that just kind of bothers you or can lower your enjoyment a bit (like what happens to me when characters call each other’s names back and forth too many times), but something that you truly and utterly cannot appreciate.

For me, it’s Bee Train. The studio behind such ‘greats’ as Noir, Madlax, El Cazador de la Bruja, Avenger, Murder Princess, Phantom ~Requiem~, and the entire .hack series, though that series is a bit different from the others, and doesn’t really conjure my wrath. Bee Train shows are, for the most part, always the same goddamn thing, and it’s a thing that really, really ought to be right up my alley.

First of all, the shows always involve girls with guns, which I love. Secondly, they always try to include a thick visual style, which I usually love. Thirdly, there is almost always a yuri element to the series, which I also love. Lets throw in tons of fights, great Yuki Kajiura soundtracks (.hack//sign still has one of my top 5 OSTs), and plenty of modern urban settings for shootouts to take place. If you told me you were making a show with all of these elements, I’d hump your fucking leg, but the sad truth is that it almost always means this is a Bee Train show.

I almost liked this one. Almost. Then ep 6 happened.

I almost liked this one. Almost. Then ep 6 happened.

I cannot like Bee Train. They are impossible. Their animation takes as many shortcuts as humanly possible to the point that they have created a brand of ‘anti-excitement’ in animation. From what I’ve read, the studio is where newbie animators start off before they go farther, and it shows like crazy. I’ve also heard that the staff gets drunk when they write the shows, and that makes sense to, because the writing and plots in their shows suck balls and are as cliche as humanly possible. The characters never have any personality, and their development goes absolutely nowhere until near the end of the show. Plus all of the shows have the same fucking plot over and over again.

The action scenes never make any damn sense, which isn’t helped by them infrequently even animating the goddamn bullets or the impact of them on people. The tactics used in battles are utter shit, too. Plus the hack-ass directors idea of ‘visual style’ is random frame discoloration of flipping the camera upside down or sideways once or twice an episode. Sooooo creative. And don’t even get me started on episode 6 of El Cazador. My. God. (Oh, and I almost forgot to mention what they did to Blade of the Immortal. Ugh.)

I’ve tried really hard to like Bee Train. I watched 7 episodes of Noir, 6 episodes of El Cazador de la Bruja, 2 episodes of Murder Princess, and the first episodes of Avenger and Phantom, the latter to hilarious results. Every single time, I thought ‘this is really something I want to like’, but I couldn’t, I simply couldn’t. Instead, I raged. I raged at Bee Train and everyone who supports them enough to keep them around, and anyone who dares to enjoy their shows.

So I have a question: do you have a Personal Rage Machine? Something that you can’t like, not because of your pride or becuase you are a petty bitch, but something you really felt you should have liked, but couldn’t?

23 thoughts on “Everybody Gets One – Anime's Personal Rage Machines

  1. Murder Princess has a misleadingly cool name (it has “murder” in it). Damn that was a shitty fucking show. I hated it. I have stopped watching Phantom as well (a while ago) and I really don’t feel compelled enough to pick that back up. However, I have not watched enough Bee Train to make an actual judgement on whether I like it or not. I seem to like most shows I watch, so if I don’t like something, then you know it sucks.

  2. Clannad. I’d always been sort ambivalent about the Key/KyoAni collaborations, but Clannad was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Kanon was one of the first animes that I watched, and it was ok, there were enough likeable things about it that kept me watching. But I didn’t think it was the masterpiece everyone made it out to be. Then I followed up with Air, which I think was sort of boring in between the first and last couple eps. But the ending was really great, so I ended up having some pretty memories about it. But then came Clannad. And I could’ve sworn I’d seen the storyline before, except in this case everyone of the characters was like someone from before, except way less interesting and a lot more unlikeable. I frigging trudged through that series. I’d watch a couple episodes until I was so bored I wanted to blow my brains out. Then I’d take a break for a few weeks and then try to marathon as much as I could until I couldn’t take it anymore. It was like swallowing terrible medicine. But I was damned determined to finish it. And once I did… I was rewarded with the most boring couple ever.

    I then watched an episode of After Story, and decided I couldn’t put myself through the torture anymore. Just the mention of it pisses me off. Yet, Clannad got great ratings, and somehow After Story is the top ranked series in MAL. God, Clannad really pisses me off.

    • I know what you mean, there’s something a little off-putting about Clannad, and I thin it has something to do with the show’s self-assuredness. What bothered me about the show was that it gave you absolutely no reason to watch it in the beginning. It had no plot, no real draw, and didn’t do much with the characters for quite a few episodes. And it didn’t need to, because people who were going to like it were going into it knowing they would like it. I started out the show while it was airing fanboying over the first 5 episodes, and then when I didn’t keep up with it, I realized it had left no impression on me at all. There had been great animation, it knew it’s audience, and it appeased, but it had given me nothing to remember it by. Sure, it gets good at the end of the Fuuko arc, but as much as I liked some of those episodes and moments, those were just a few moments. When the next arc came around and I still didn’t have any real reason to care about the characters or anything, I just couldn’t bother to continue. I didn’t hate the show, I just felt indifferent towards it. I read a bunch of spoilers and felt content.

      There must be something that draws people to it, though. My 11yo little brother is about 10 eps into After Story and he’s long decided that Clannad is his new number 1 anime.

      • I would love to one day figure out what draws people to Clannad (and any of the Key/KyoAni works really). I mean, I might understand if they were like the anime equivalent of chick flicks, but the appeal seems so universal – and maybe even more beloved by the guys – that it’s hard for me to comprehend.

        • I think it’s the sheer innocence of the shows, really. Unless you fault them for being unrealistic or annoying in ways that you particularly dislike, it’s hard to hate characters who virtually do no wrong. And KyoAni are masters of their craft in terms of animation and directing, lending to perfect dramatic moments. People tend to respond to things that get an emotional reaction from them. I cried at teh end of the Fuuko arc, and my little brother, now having finished After Story, cried through most of it.

  3. My Personal Rage Machine is Key. I wanted to like their works–I’ve liked similar shows anyway–but the Key touch just makes me rage all over. I’ve seen the Air movie, Clannad movie, and Clannad S1, but all it did was convince me of Key’s incessant usage of death for cheap melodrama. In fact, right after watching the Clannad movie, I decided to engorge myself on Clannad TV immediately to get the bad taste out of my mouth (which worked). I have so much rage towards them that I believe that KyoAni is wasting its talent in adapting Key works. :\

    • All you watched were the movies? But none of them were considered to be very good (in spite of two being works of Osamu Dezaki himself.) I would have said ‘at least watch Air TV.’ But they do overuse death. But I think Air TV has plenty of reasons to be loved that Kanon lacks (and Clannad TV has, but it is marred by other things, see my above comment).

  4. Honestly, no. I feel completely justified in disliking what i dislike, and most of the time the shows I dislike aren’t that good anyway. And I loved Murder Princess.

  5. I don’t have rage against Gurren Lagann, but I’m definitely resentful toward it, insofar as it’s the only 25 episode show that I watched till the end without really liking it. Of course, that’s my fault for keeping on watching it.

    • I’m sure you weren’t being literal, but the show is 27 eps

      I wish you’d do a post about it or something and tell us why you didn’t like it. I promise I won’t attack you for it ()

      • I can’t remember anything about it!! Something about some guy called El Camino and a kid who drove a Count Brocken-inspired mecha. Then there was some girl that was captured and the voluptuous teacher (Yoko, that’s her name) came back from the village to fight and then some creepy existential thing that looked like the evil masked dude in the Scream movies said a couple of lines and it was over.

  6. Kara no Kyoukai. The series never lives up to what I expect from it, or at least to a level deserving of the heaps of praise it’s gotten from all over. Whats-his-face, Mikiya, is so bleh. Shiki is a twist on the cool assassin type, which is alright, but everyone else causes me varying levels of irritability and discomfort. The fifth movie is actually really good, but works 98% as a stand alone, which is telling of how necessary I think the preceding 4 films are.

    • Meeeeeeeeh. I don’t get you here, I positively adore the one KnK film I’ve seen, though admittedly it’s 90% becuase of the OMG visual style. And I love Shiki.

    • Actually, I think my sister liked it. That or Madlax, I can’t remember. But she has terrible taste, so I never take her seriously. /jk

    • I liked the characters in El Caz, but the plot went nowhere and the animation sucked so much dick I couldn’t finish it.

  7. I was actually thinking about this subject last night..

    For me, a series I just cannot get into is the Macross series. I know I’m missing out, I tell myself if I just bear with it for a few episodes, I’ll probably come through with a new favorite. But it just doesn’t work.
    I can’t even remember all of the Macross series I’ve tried to enjoy. But I’d hear redeeming things about one of them, to go view it, and just.. drop it.
    The combat is always awesome to behold, but I just can’t sit through all of the J-pop(A “concept” I guess I hate. Especially in Anime.), uninteresting Characters & Love Triangles. Which, along with the combat, are typically cited as the main draws of the show.

    And I enjoyed El Cazador, but we moved during it’s airing and were without internet for a few months, so I never got back into it.
    Same thing happened with Clannad – though I finished that. Though, now I’m pretty much stalled half-way through After Story.
    I revered Kanon as one of the best shows I’ve seen, just because I liked the Characters, the music(Shinji Orito is probably the top artist on my Last.fm. Maybe only bettered by Nakagawa Koutarou!), and just the entire atmosphere.
    But Clannad. I don’t know. It just gets boring fast.
    So that’s at least two shows, I guess.

    Also, reading your previous posts, Happy Birthday! (?)

    • I can’t blame you for not liking Macross if you’re at end with elements of it. Macross is a classic, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a show that everyone should love. It’s not quite like the original Gundam where the influence takes precedence over the show being any good, because Macross IS good, but it’s legendary more in it’s influence than in the idea that it’s a great show. Probably close to in the way of Evangelion. It’s groundbreaking first and foremost, and not something I’d expect everyone to enjoy.

  8. Pingback: Halo Legends is Completely Awesome if You Ignore Bee Train Screwing it Up As Badly As Humanly Imaginable « Fuzakenna!

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